Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant program requirements and how they’re shaping communities
Our roadways are about to become safer for drivers and pedestrians, and it's about time. With millions injured every year, change couldn't come soon enough. When streets and roads are unsafe, people pay the price. Shockingly, 40,990 people died in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2023, as estimated by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administrat...
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Former casket factory overcomes challenges to create affordable housing in Fond du Lac
Renovating a property listed on the historic registry is difficult. Doing it while also changing the property's intended use is even harder. Taking that on after a fire and with hazardous contamination present is the kind of challenge that requires experts from across industries to work together. When they do it successfully, the results can be spe...
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A look at the Lead Service Line Replacement Program in Iowa communities
Does your drinking water come from lead pipes, also known as service lines? Chances are more likely if your house was built before 1950. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates more than 96,000 lead service lines in Iowa, potentially exposing many homes to lead depending on the materials and methods used for plumbing. The EPA's lat...
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PFAS update 2024: Exploring legislative standards for environmental protection
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the first-ever nationwide, legally enforceable drinking water standard for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). This rule represents the most significant step under EPA's PFAS strategic roadmap, addressing PFAS pollution and protecting the public from potential PFAS hazards. The EPA a...
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Boost effluent quality and efficiency with aeration basins in wastewater treatment upgrades
If you're exploring upgrades within your publicly owned treatment works (POTW), consider constructing an aeration basin in your community's wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) to improve effluent quality and save on high energy costs. Let's focus on four questions to explore aeration basins: Why is aeration necessary in wastewater treatment?What is t...
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Community Development Block Grant: A catalyst for positive change
Does your neighborhood have at least 51% low-to-moderate income individuals? If so, you may qualify for the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), a federally funded program to support community development in low-income populations. This program's stringent eligibility requirements are governed by the Code of Federal Regulations. To qualify, at...
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Unlock potential: Master the EPA brownfields grant guidelines for funding opportunities
Are you ready to transform an under-used space in your community? Last year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced its third round of brownfield grants, totaling $235 million. It is anticipated that approximately 200 grants will be awarded through the Brownfields Program. With this grant, the EPA partners with federal and state a...
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What you need to know about the EPA’s new drinking water standards and PFAS
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced new drinking water standards to limit the concentration of a family of forever chemicals known as Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances, or PFAS. PFAS chemicals were widely used for years in various industrial and consumer products and have been linked to health issues. The new limits are a sig...
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Beyond the last sweep: Enduring the challenges of residual contamination
Anytime you sweep dirt into a dustpan, there's always that little line that remains on the floor. So you back the dustpan up an inch, start again, and keep going until the dirt line has all but vanished. No matter how well you sweep, there will always be a small amount of dust left. It's the same with residual contamination in the world of environm...
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Beyond remediation: Using engineered barriers as sustainable solution
You've purchased brownfield property, conducted Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessments, installed a vapor intrusion mitigation system, completed a site investigation, and conducted remediation. But have you done enough? Site contamination has potentially lethal consequences and shouldn't be taken lightly. That's why engineers have a va...
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Unlocking potential: How the redevelopment of brownfield sites revitalizes communities
Are there abandoned or unused properties in your area? If so, your community might be a candidate for a brownfield redevelopment project. Transforming environmentally compromised properties into assets can be costly and require specific expertise. But the investment pays off. Redeveloping brownfields eliminates eyesores and transforms them into val...
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Implementing soil contamination control measures in urban areas
How polluted is the ground beneath your feet? Lead and arsenic can occur naturally in soil — but there's no need to panic. There are measures that your community can take to control soil contamination in your area. Soil contamination in urban areas is mostly attributed to human activities, including: Excessive use of synthetic pesticides and fertil...
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Reminder: Tier II chemical inventory reporting deadline approaching
For facilities storing hazardous chemicals, the deadline for Tier II inventory reporting is quickly approaching. Governed by the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act, known as EPCRA, Tier II Chemical Inventory reports are due March 1 for the previous reporting year. This is a fixed deadline, and extensions are not granted. Delayed rep...
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A look at key changes and implications with the EPA lead and copper rule 2024
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently proposed revisions to the National Primary Drinking Water Regulation (NPDWR) to limit lead exposure. The proposed Lead and Copper Rule Improvements (LCRI) simplifies the 2022 Lead and Copper Rule Revisions (LCRR) and include provisions for efficient implementations by water systems to...
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Understanding nutrient removal in wastewater treatment
While phosphorus and nitrogen are indispensable for the growth of aquatic flora, nutrient-rich wastewater results in eutrophication — an excessive growth of algae and plankton in bodies of water — which impairs freshwater and coastal marine ecosystems. To preserve these vital bodies of water and prevent eutrophication, wastewater treatment plants a...
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Securing safety: Vapor intrusion mitigation system design ensures healthy environments
Some scents, like chocolate chip cookies or fresh linen, evoke delight. Others, like smoke from a fire, serve as a warning, signaling that something could be wrong. But what if something was wrong – and you couldn't smell it? Those smells – or vapors – are perhaps the most harmful because you're breathing them without knowing it. Then, you don't ta...
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Mastering pedestrian bridge design: A guide to safety, aesthetics and sustainability
A pedestrian bridge should be designed with careful consideration of safety and convenience. Engineers creating pedestrian bridge designs should begin by identifying project objectives and constraints. Engineers should also consider construction and maintenance requirements, permitting, railing and fencing requirements, lightning, drainage and cost...
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Understanding the impacts of secondary contaminants in drinking water
Secondary contaminants in drinking water, also known as nuisance chemicals, do not pose potential health hazards but they may cause water to smell or taste unpleasant and appear cloudy or discolored. Drinking water with secondary contaminants can be extremely off-putting, even if it is safe and may cause people to change their consumption behaviors...
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EPA brownfield grant recipients to transform Illinois communities
Source: U.S. EPA Since its inception in 1995, the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Brownfields Program has provided nearly $2.37 billion in grants to remediate contaminated sites and sustainably reuse them. The EPA Brownfields Program funds brownfield assessment, cleanup, revolving loans, environmental job training, technical assistan...
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Proposed EPA regulations to address PFAS in landfills
A municipal solid waste landfill (MSWLF) is a dedicated land area or excavated site that receives nonhazardous solid waste from households and industries. An MSWLF may also receive nonhazardous sludge and conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste. These landfills safely isolate waste from the environment with clay and geotextile liners to...
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